Sunday, March 29, 2009

You'll Live a Long Life With Some Good Days

People didn't used to tell me I would live a long life. It was just kind of assumed. People didn't used to tell me to make sure and "enjoy my good days." It was just a given that most days were good, or supposed to be, anyway.

It disturbs me that this has changed. It disturbs me a lot.

"Enjoy your good days!" translates to "Because you'll have a lot of crappy ones."

"You'll probably live a long life" translates to "Hopefully you won't die at 60."

It's like an old episode of The Cosby Show where Claire has a birthday, and everyone is telling her "What are you complaining about? You still look good." She hated that word STILL. They used to just say "You look good." Why was the still in there now? Because she was older, and the expectation has changed.

That's me. The expectation has changed. "You'll STILL live long." If my lifespan was discussed at all, it was expected that I would live long, given that all my grandparents lived well into their nineties. Oddly enough, though, it didn't come up in normal conversation. Now it's all the time. "How are things going? Well, I'm sure you'll still live a long life."

I guess it's better than people telling me I'll probably drop dead at any second, like so-and-so with diabetes. ("Boom. Just dead in his dorm.") Oooohh, thanks for that lovely, uplifting story.

I had another education class, and asked about the fact that twice this month, I've woken up with high sugars. She told me it was probably the Somogyi effect, and that my liver was doing everything it could so I wouldn't die. To which I say: Thank you liver. Pancreas? Screw you.

Seriously, last thing as class ended - "Remember to enjoy your good days! "

For the diabeticially aware: My sugars before I went to bed was 78, so I ate a Starburst before going to sleep so I wouldn't go too low. And I did test last night at 2 a.m. 63. Crappity crap crap. Ate a starburst and fell back asleep with sugars at 95. Fasting sugar this morning was 76. I'm thinking my Lantus dosage might be a little high? Although usually I am in the 100s when I go to bed, and only twice this month to be high in the a.m. doesn't seem like a lot, but maybe it is. Just when I think I have a handle on this thing....

Anyway, I'm sure I'll still live a long life and I'll have to remember to enjoy those good days.


  1. The Somogyi Effect must be the opposite of the dawn phenomenon that I have - I use 150% more insulin while I sleep than I do in the day.

    That's terrible that people are saying those things. I think that this is exactly the problem with diabetes research. People are "satisfied" that those suffering with diabetes can still live, so the real big bucks go to other disease research. They don't take into account the quality of life. Yes, there is quite a bit of money going towards a cure, but sometimes I wonder if the big pharmaceutical companies are holding back the research because a cure would wipe out their golden goose. I don't sound bitter, do I?!

    I hate to say it again, but a pump would really help level out those sugars and allow you to sleep better. The pump can be programed with multiple basal profiles (basal is like your long acting insulin, it drips in all day). Right now I have six different basal rates in a 24 hour period. When I was pregnant I had about ten. This just means that at certain times my body needs more basal insulin than at others, so the pump can adjust for that. It can also deliver various bolus ratios (bolus is like your fast acting insulin that is delivered at meal times). In the evening my sugars go higher so I need more insulin with my evening meal than at lunch. The pump's program can remember multiple pre-set ratios and change them according to the time of day. Also, when I exercise I require less insulin, so I do what is called a temporary basal rate and the pump will deliver only a percentage of my normal basal insulin. I don't know if this all makes sense, but I just thought you would like to know all the options.

    No, it is not bad that you have had a couple of highs in the morning this month. Blood sugars are just an instant glimpse of the overall picture. The HbA1c is the real barometer for long term health. It is all a mathematical average game. So the more target blood sugars you have the better your averages are, even with a few highs mixed in there.

    You might want to try fruit snacks for your lows. They are easier to chew, especially in the middle of the night, and they seem to get into the blood stream faster. I have just found them easy to keep in my purse or by my bed, and they don't get rock hard after awhile.

    Sorry for the lengthy comments. I just wish I would have had someone give me this information when I was newly diagnosed. Have a good week!

  2. Yeah, I've seen people with fruit snacks. The problem is, I hate them. I think they're gross.

    So with you on the drug company thing.

    HOW did you know you had 6 and 10 different basal rates? Did you go on a continuous monitoring system? I would love to know information like that.

    And comment away. The longer the better.

  3. Yeah, screw you, pancreas. Take that, you lousy stinkin' organ.

  4. I am the one who programs the basal rates into the pump. That is how I know how many I have. Does that make sense? I program the pump with the help of my diabetic educator nurse friend. When someone first gets a pump, they start off with similar rates of delivery that they had with injections. Then they keep a record of the blood sugars to see how they respond to the profiles. Then they tweek (program more or less insulin delivery at various times throughout the day) the profiles according to the blood sugars. No, I wasn't on a continuous blood glucose monitoring system, although I did a trial run of that last year for a couple of weeks, just to see if my pump programs were working with my blood sugars. It is quite interesting - I had to have two insertion sites instead of just one for the pump. The continuous monitor "talks" to the pump to let it know if blood sugar is too high or too low. Then I could just look at the data from the monitor and deliver correction boluses according to the monitor readings sent to my pump. Technology is great but still not quite the cure we need.